1 April 2006 | gerrythree
Great Job of Turning Play "One Sunday Afternoon" Into Paramount Movie
One Sunday Afternoon is an example of what movie studios used to do with total professionalism - in the space of a few months, use a Broadway play as the template to make a movie. One Sunday Afternoon opened on Broadway on February 15, 1933; the movie went into production at Paramount in May 1933 and was released on September 1, 1933, while the original play was still at the Little Theater. Grand Hotel is another example of a Broadway play becoming a movie in a relatively short time.
Warner Bros. turned the play Arsenic and Old Lace into a movie after the play was a hit on Broadway, but by then, the play's producer knew the score. One Sunday Afternoon closed on Broadway in November 1933, a closure that probably was sped up by competition from the movie. As a condition of the sale of movie rights, the movie Arsenic and Old Lace, made in 1941, could not be released until the play it was based on closed on Broadway. That was in 1944.
Back to One Sunday Afternoon, the movie. As with many movies made during the Depression, this movie has a grim edge to it. Although things work out, all the leads have rough times of it. Fay Wray is cast against her usual role, playing a mean person. Gary Cooper is no hero, just a guy who gets jammed by people he trusted. Frances Fuller (Amy Lind) does not change much during the movie, she always believes in Biff Grimes (Cooper). She made one more movie in Hollywood as a lead character before vanishing until some television roles over 15 years later, so she did not have a chance to be typecast.
The end result of Paramount's production is a movie that shows what a struggle life is, and how people can change along the way. Instead of cheerful memories of a time gone by, which the title implies, you have scenes such as Gary Cooper returning from prison to meet Amy in Avery's Park, an amusement park that closed and fell into disrepair while Cooper was in prison.
One Sunday Afternoon is a slice of real life, a movie that deals with hard times for some ordinary (but very good looking) people.